Balcony / Deck Failure

A common design characteristic of the H.O.A. developments is the inclusion of balconies or decks, and, if needed, exterior stair systems to access above ground dwellings. Improper design, manufacturing, or installation could result in a construction defect and damage. Unventilated areas with water intrusion causes dry-rot, fungus, and mold. These may result in failure to the interior structural framing and exposure of plywood decking that may cause failure of the deck membrane.

Common Types:

  • Tongue and groove wood plank deck (fully adhered system).
  • Wood framed deck with elastomeric type coatings.
  • Lightweight concrete decks.

Common Problems:

  • Improper flashing.
  • Improper deck to sliding glass door or front door threshold transfer.
  • Improper deck to wall transition.
  • Improper drainage or slope to drain.
  • Improper deck finishing (coatings).
  • Improper installation of deck skupper drains.

Possible Damage:

  • Dry-rot.
  • Deck/structural failure.
  • Interior leaks.
  • Stucco staining/cracking.
  • Wood destroying organisms.
  • Surface cracks or cheecking.

Balcony / Deck Failure

There are four common problem areas in the construction of balcony surfaces.

Not Enough Vertical Offset at the Door Threshold

A 1-1/2 inch vertical separation between the interior and exterior surface is recommended:

  • to avoid wind-driven water from getting inside.
  • to provide a vertical surface to attach the waterproof membrane.
  • to provide continuous “Z” -metal falshing.
  • No Waterproofing on the Sides of the Balcony

The waterproof membrane should be extended up the vertical surface about 1-1/2 inches to create a continuous waterproof membrane along the balcony sides.

Insufficient Slope

Adequate slope of the balcony surface is needed to let water drain off fast. A 1/4-inch-per-foot slope from the wall to the drain and/or scupper is recommended for proper drainage.

No Ridge to Deflect Water to the Scuppers is an Enclosed Balcony

Without a ridge, commonly called a cricket or saddle, at the low end of the balcony, the water will puddle between to the drains or scuppers.